When my daughter was less than a week old, my husband came home from work with a 10 piece McNuggets, sweet and sour sauce, and fries. My mother, world's biggest health freak, was staying with us at the time, so John and I stood in the closet in our bedroom, furtively eating McNuggets, dipping fries in sauce, praying my mother didn't catch us.
People. I was treating McNuggets like drugs, or teenage sex- snuck in a closet, hoping not to get caught by disapproving parents.
I LOVE to cook. Love it. But I'm in my third week back at work with a three month old at home, and many days, quite frankly, it's all I can do to remember to put on deodorant in the morning. So it pains me to say this, but recently...we've been eating some fast food/takeout kind of stuff.
Not McDonalds (since the blissful McNugget episode), or Burger King, or KFC -- I've managed to steer us clear of the realllllly cheap and greasy spots. After all, I also want to fit in my pants. So I'm on a quest for a few quick, takeout-friendly fast or fast-casual options for those days when a home cooked dinner just ain't going to happen.
My current favorite is Pei Wei.
I love that Pei Wei approximates the flavors of some of my favorite asian takeout, but in a slightly healthier way. (I like the Vietnamese salad rolls, and the Ginger tofu.) The online ordering option is super easy and convenient, and it lets you select healthier options, like extra vegetables, or steamed protein (instead of stir-fried in oil). Pei Wei also has the magic Coke machines, which alone makes it worth the trip.
But man cannot live on Pei Wei alone.
Other options we've found that manage to satisfy both my "tasty and fast" and "not actively trying to kill us" requirements:
- Burrito bowls from Chipotle with no cheese or sour cream (though the sodium content at Chipotle is astonishing) (also, did you know that the tortilla at Chioptle has 330 calories and 9 grams of fat? JUST FOR THE TORTILLA. Burrito bowl for me, thanks!)
- Light signature salad from Cosi (I love grapes and pears on a salad. The flavors on this one are just excellent.)
- Georgia pizza with easy cheese on a whole wheat crust from Homemade Pizza Company (an awesome local chain)
aaaaand....that's about it. I am starting to cook more again now that we're getting back into the swing of things, but I also know there are going to be nights when it just ain't gonna happen. There must be more options out there that won't make me feel awful and bloated and guilty immediately after eating. So please, help a mother out!